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Sharon, MA –The Beals family is continuing their long tradition of preserving Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough by donating the eastern two-thirds of the property to The Trustees of Reservations, the nation’s oldest, state-wide land conservation organization. The Beals family formally transferred Chestnut Hill Farm East to The Trustees on April 30, 2010.
As many of its members grew older and moved away, the Beals family wanted to be sure the farm’s scenic woodlands and rolling fields, as well as the two small white houses and the collection of outbuildings on the northeastern side of Chestnut Hill Road, remained in responsible hands. The family and The Trustees spent the past year working out the details of the donation.
For the next several years, The Trustees will continue managing the farm the same way the Beals family has – maintaining the buildings and the public trails and parking area, and leasing the fields to a local farmer. After a comprehensive planning process over the next few years involving the Town and local stakeholders, The Trustees are considering a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for the farm. In return for buying a share, CSA members receive fresh, local produce throughout the growing season. The Trustees currently own and operate 2 other successful CSAs at Powisset Farm in Dover and Appleton Farms in Ipswich.
Philip and Elaine Beals bought Chestnut Hill Farm in 1966 when they saw it advertised as a potential subdivision. In the early 1990s, the family began formally protecting portions of the property by donating pieces of land as well as the development rights to local conservation groups.
At a special town meeting in January 2006, more than 500 registered voters overwhelmingly voted to purchase a conservation restriction on most of the remaining unprotected area of the farm, which includes public access through the fields along designated trails.
In the next few years the family will place a permanent memorial on the farm to honor the late Philip Beals and his wife, Elaine, who still lives nearby.
Founded in 1891, The Trustees of Reservations are supported by more than 40,000 member families and care for more than 100 public properties across Massachusetts, including Castle Hill and Crane’s Beach in Ipswich, World’s End in Hingham, the Old Manse in Concord, and the Notchview ski area in Windsor.
The Trustees of Reservations Statewide
Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees “hold in trust,” and care for, 101 spectacular “reservations” located on 26,000 acres in 73 communities throughout Massachusetts. All reservations are open for the public to enjoy and range from working farms and historic homesteads – several of which are National Historic Landmarks – to formal gardens, barrier beaches, open meadows, woodland trails, mountain vistas, and a Gold LEED-certified green building in Leominster, the Doyle Center, which serves as a meeting space and gathering place for the conservation community.
Offering hundreds of programs, workshops, lectures, and activities throughout the year for all ages, most of which are free-of-charge or discounted for members, The Trustees are also a leader in the conservation movement and have served as a model for other land trusts nationally and internationally. With communities and conservation partners, The Trustees work to address and support important conservation issues and efforts across the Commonwealth. In addition, The Trustees hold conservation restrictions on more than 16,000 acres of privately owned land and, with our partners, have assisted in the protection of an additional 16,000 acres.
As land and special places continue to be developed and open space is being fragmented at a rapid pace across the Commonwealth, time is running out to save the best of Massachusetts’ landscapes and landmarks. To find out how you can protect or preserve a special place in your community, become a partner, request a speaker, and/or become a Trustee through your volunteer, donor or membership contributions, please call 781.784.0567, visit www.thetrustees.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.